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The effect of plasma‐polymerised silicon hydride‐rich polyhydrogenmethylsiloxane on the adhesion of silicone elastomers

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BACKGROUND: Silicone elastomers have outstanding material properties including good thermal stability, low electrical conductivity, biocompatibility and resilient physical and chemical properties. These elastomers, however, exhibit relatively poor adhesion to stainless steel, and the use of a nanometre thick plasma‐polymerised primer layer as a means of enhancing this adhesion was investigated in this study. The primer coatings studied consisted of polyhydrogenmethylsiloxane (PHMS), tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) and mixtures of these two liquid precursors.

RESULTS: The plasma‐polymerised primer coatings were deposited onto stainless steel substrates using a PlasmaStream atmospheric pressure plasma jet system. Deposited coatings were examined using ellipsometry, contact angle measurements, optical profilometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The adhesion of silicone elastomers bonded to the primed and bare stainless steel surfaces was assessed using 45° adhesion strength measurements. Elastomer adhesion was correlated with surface energy, thickness and roughness.

CONCLUSION: An up to 15‐fold increase in adhesive fracture energy was observed for silicone elastomers bonded to the primed versus untreated stainless steel. The highest adhesion was observed for a coating deposited from a PHMS‐to‐TEOS precursor molar ratio of 3 to 1. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: atmospheric pressure plasma; elastomer; plasma‐polymerised primer; silicone adhesion

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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